National Museum, Bloemfonteinan agency of the Department of Arts and Culture
Florisbad is a fossil-bearing spring mound situated 45 km northwest of Bloemfontein in the central Free State Province. It is widely known for producing an archaic modern human skull, now dated to c. 260 000 years old. The mammalian remains from the Florisbad spring, dated to between 400 000 and 100 000 years ago, is the type assemblage of the Florisian Land mammal Age and it is a key site for understanding the appearance of modern environments as well as modern human origins in southern Africa. Three osteological collections are housed at the site. It also has a small educational centre, aimed at primary school visits.
Until the late 1970s Florisbad was a privately owned holiday resort and mineral spa. In March 1980 the property was acquired by the National Government and made available to the National Museum to establish a Quaternary Research Station. The buildings on the site now house the offices, laboratories, and collections of the Florisbad Quaternary Research Department. The site was declared a National Monument in 1995, but due to a change in legislation, it is now a Provincial Heritage Site, pending declaration as a National Heritage Site.
Researchers wishing to work on the collections should contact Dr James Brink jbrink [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za.
School groups or groups wishing to go on a conducted educational tour should contact the Education Department Tel: + 27 51 447 9609.
Adults: R15.00; Children: R5.00
Groups (more than 10) Adults: R10.00; Children: R2.00
Jaco Smith j [dot] smith [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za
Tel: +27 51 831 1132
Jaco retired from the South African Police Service at the end of September 2009 after 32 years of service as a State Accountant and Support Service Commander. He worked as a Relief Caretaker at the National Museum and its satellites from 1 October 2009 and was appointed as Site Manager of Florisbad Quaternary Research Station at Soutpan, at the beginning of May 2011.
Jaco is a keen birdwatcher, bird ringer and naturalist.